Conflict Management And Organizational Development

Project and Seminar Material for Industrial Relations and Personnel Management

Conflict Management And Organizational Development


Abstract


This study was carried out to examine conflict management and organizational development using mobile producing Nigeria plc as a case study. Specifically, the study was aimed at discussing subject matter of industrial conflict, the causes and a thorough x- ray of the effectiveness of industrial conflict resolution process in Nigeria, evaluate the impact of industrial conflict on the productivity and success, determine how best industrial conflict could be managed to ensure efficient and effective organization performance, make useful conclusion and recommendation for a viable system which will help an organization, examine whether lack of workers participation in management decision affect conflict management in an organization, examine whether disagreement on union issues affects management in an organization. The study employed the survey descriptive research design. A total of 30 responses were validated from the survey. From the responses obtained and analysed, the findings revealed that lack of adequate strategies in the management of industrial conflict affect an organization to a high extent, measures adopted on strike resolution affect conflict management in an organization like Mobile Producing Nigeria to a high extent, lack of participation of workers in management in organization affect conflict management in organization to a high extent, insensitive strategic policies e.g salary structures affect conflict management in an organization like Mobile Producing Nigeria to a high extent, disagreement on union issues affect conflict management in Mobile Producing Nigeria to a high extent, and organizational performance is directly related to the level of industrial conflict. The study therefore recommends that the staff and Management of the organization and the stakeholders as well should endeavour to understand what conflict is all about. This will enable them to perceive conflict in advance and try as much as possible to nip such causes in the bud before it rears its ugly head in the organization. This should be done mostly by training the staff on conflict management and resolution. Also, in order to resolve conflict among workers, better strategies should be adopted by the Management and stakeholders. In- house resolution, dialogue among parties should be encouraged at all times, new ideologies in strategies for resolving conflict should be put in place. Also appeasing the party on the receiving end should be encouraged in order to boost morale of staff and Management.


Chapter One


1.0 Introduction

The growth of labour sector inevitably necessitates a definite relationship between union and management, this relationship broadly speaking concerns the continued existence of an organization in order to achieve the purpose for which it was established. The attainment of this goal is largely influenced by the type of relationship between the employer and the employees. Issue such as the determination of general condition of services, discipline, maintaining a suitable workforce, keeping production high, adjusting to technological change and providing welfare for workers are of paramount importance.

The recognition of this interest not only formalizes the labour management relationship but also shows that the relationship between the parties can be sustained indefinitely. An employee’s participation in the affairs of an organization is largely determined and specified by the contract of employment. The major link between the workers and the company, there, remains what he/she gets in return for task completed within the periods stipulated. To assume a past in any organization or company automatically involves a workers subjection of his person to an infinite set of instructions and commands.

This in itself is a power relationship embodying conflict and consensus after nature of task, values and rate of remuneration. In the light of the above that Whiter (1984) asserts that the employment relationship out of which industrial conflict arises. Industrial conflict therefore, has long been a central public issue on the field of labour and a subject of vital concern to managers and labour Unionists.

A great deal of industrial relations centers around the resolution of conflicts, hence, it is believed that conflict is a permanent feature of industrial life. The issue therefore, is not one of completely eliminating conflict, but rather, it is one of accommodating and managing conflict effectively. To achieve this, it has been advocated that rather than the fighting approach to issues, a problem solving approach to decision making in industrial relations should be adopted.

In any organization, there is bound to exist conflict of interest, however, each party has its own interest, aspiration and temperaments. For instance the management’s main interest within an organization is that of possible profit maximization, which means, it will serve to produce at the lowest possible cost, while the concern of the workers union is to secure and maintain the highest and best condition of service for workers. This kind of situation can lead to conflict. Conflict is a process, which begins when one party perceives that other party has frustrated or is about to frustrate some of its concerns or interests. Conflict is a state of mind, it has to be perceived by the parties involved.

If one or more parties are not aware of a conflict, then no conflict exist. In any organization conflict are inevitable. Hence, sometimes conflict is functional in the sense that it improved the quality of decision, stimulate creativity and innovation, provides a way of airing grievances, releases tensions and encourages self-evaluation and change. These result are best gotten where conflict is managed well, but if not, it becomes dysfunctional, which means it will breed discontent, dissolve common ties, lead to the destruction of the group, retard communication reduced group cohesion, individual interest, supplant group effectiveness and threaten group survival. When such situation occurs and no proper machinery is used they can lead to strike, lock outs, disputes etc.

In a nutshell, the way and manner conflict is managed goes a long way in determining the effective and efficient performance of the organization. Therefore, when conflict occurs in an organization both union representatives and management should put head together to dialogue to seek lasting solution to the causes of the conflict. They should begin concessionally or just use integrated bargaining where each party does not need to be too rigid on its interest. This means, where there is need to compromise; they should do that on time because a stich in time saves nine.

The following are some procedure employed in conflict management in an organization.

  • Grievances procedures
  • Negotiating procedures
  • Dismissal procedures

It is assumed that these rules or procedure should be followed by employees and employers so to guarantee industrial peace and harmony necessary for efficiency and productivity.

To critically examine conflict management and organization development in large scale organization I have decided to embark on the study of the experiences of mobile producing Nigeria.


1.1 Background of the Study

Mobile producing Nigeria Unlimited as an organization recognized the need maintain highly productivity and industrial harmony at all work locations and expect its management to cooperate always with the recognized workers trade unions namely: (NUPENG) Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas (PENGASSAN) Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria. However, the ineptitude on the part of management and the complicated procedures of setting disputes as well as lack of effective communication between the management and the workers unions have often led to industrial conflict.

Holt N. Whiter (1985) defines industrial conflict as collective aggressive action by employee acting through formal organizations of unions. Since conflict is a permanent feature of industrial life, the issue therefore is not of complete elimination of conflict but that of managing conflict effectively. The purpose of this study is therefore to examine the concept of industrial conflict vis-à-vis management – Union relationship within the context of the desirability of effective communication between management and union as a means of reducing industrial conflict. Furthermore, we shall seek also to examine this relationship in the context of employees collective action against the employers through formal unions and how the employees have been able to cope with conflict.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

Industrial conflict is a phenomenon commonly associated with industrial establishments where sizable proportion of workers depend on their wages for survival, the effect and causes will be valuated.

  1. That lacks of adequate strategies in the management of industrial conflict affect the rate of industrial conflict in Mobile Producing Nigeria.
  2. That measures adopted on strike resolution affects management in an Organization.
  3. Disagreement on Union issues affects management in an Organization.
  4. That insensitive strategic policy e.g salary structure, affect the level and management of conflict in an Organization.

1.3 Objectives of the Study

The history of the study of industrial conflict is not alien to the Nigerian Industrial development. This is because majority of the citizens of these country have been directly or indirectly affected by the action of the organized labour. However, this is to bring to the public the following:

  1. The subject matter of industrial conflict
  2. The causes and a thorough x- ray of the effectiveness of industrial conflict resolution process in Nigeria.
  3. To evaluate the impact of industrial conflict on the productivity and success.,
  4. To determine how best industrial conflict could be managed to ensure efficient and effective organization performance.
  5. To make useful conclusion and recommendation for a viable system which will help an organization.
  6. Lack of workers participation in management decision affect conflict management in an organization.
  7. Disagreement on union issues affects management in an organization.

1.4 Relevant Research Questions

  1. To what extent would lack of adequate strategies in the management of industrial conflict affect an organization?
  2. To what extents do measures adopted on strike resolution affect conflict management in an organization like Mobile Producing Nigeria?
  3. How has lack of participation of workers in management in organization? Affect conflict management in organization.
  4. To what extent would insensitive strategic policies e.g salary structures affect conflict management in an organization like Mobile Producing Nigeria?
  5. To what extent would disagreement on union issues affect conflict management in Mobile Producing Nigeria?

The Main hypothesis of the study can be summarized in the following hypothesized relationship.

  • H1; Organizational performance is not directly related to the level of industrial conflict.
  • H0; Organizational performance is directly related to the level of industrial conflict.

1.5 The Limitation of the Study

The scope of this study will be limited to Mobile Producing Nigeria. Therefore, the data that will be used in the course of the study will be obtained from Mobile Producing Nigeria for the analysis and interpretation of the result findings.

The finding of this study will be used for large scale organization especially manufacturing industrial like beverage industries, textiles industries and brewing/bottling industries in managing conflict to the best optimization of organizational goals and success.


1.6 The Scope of the Study

The scope of this study will be limited to Mobile Producing Company Nigeria and will also touch large scale organization. The data will be used in the study will be obtain from company environment for the analysis, interpretation and presentation of the result finding.

The result obtains from the research will be used in multi-national company especially manufacturing industries e.g textiles and bottling industries.

The research will try to solve problem of conflict in an organization and minimize the outcome of any futuristic conflict then create a simple way for organization success and development. It is also aimed at improvement of productivity in company performance and creates a peaceful and unity atmosphere for employees and employers.


1.7 Definition of Terms

Industrial Conflict:

This may be defined as the dis-enhancement or dissatisfaction arising from the interaction between labour and management in the work place.

Productivity:

This may be defined as the efficiency of an organization or enterprise.

Organization:

Breech (1963) defined organization as the framework of the management process as formed by the definition of the responsibility by means of which the activities of enterprise are dispersed among managerial, supervisory and specialized personnel employed in its services.

Collective Bargaining:

According to 1998 Convention of International Labour Organization, Collective bargaining is defined as the voluntary negotiation between employers or employees organization with a view to regulate terms and conditions of employments by collective agreement.

Dispute:

Trade dispute decree No. of 1976 defined trade dispute as any dispute between employers and employees or between workers which is connected with the terms of employment or condition of work of any kind.

Strike:

The trade dispute Act 1976, defined strike as temporal cessation of work by a body of person, employed acting in combination or concerned refusal under a common understanding of workers to continue to work for an employer or to accept terms of employment and physical condition of work.

Lock-outs:

The trade dispute Decree No. 7 Section 37 of 1976 defined lockout to mean closing place of employment or the suspension of work or the refusal by an employer to continue to employ any number of person employed by him to accept terms of employment and physical condition of work.

Industrial Action:

This is the reaction of either party (employer or employee) to the conflict in an attempt to make the other party to succumb to its demand.

Trade Union:

May be defined as the legitimate representative of employee’s interest at work with the right to challenge the right management to manage. Simply put, it is an association of worker, the purpose of which is to regulate the terms and condition of employment of its members.

Integrated Bargaining:

In recent times, there has grown an interest in new forms of negotiation Act been variously term “integrated” win-win” “mutal gains” bargaining (see Fisher in Vry, 1981) or the desire is to make bargaining less adversarial and labour relation more harmonious. Hence, industrial parties that engage in integrative bargaining basically desire or seek to understand the other party needs, focus or problems and evaluate range of alternative solution while ultimately concentrating on the generation of the solutions that mutally meet the need of both parties (Stranss 1988: 673-675).


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Summary

In this study, our focus was to investigate conflict management and organizational development using mobile producing Nigeria plc as a case study. The study specifically was aimed at discussing subject matter of industrial conflict, the causes and a thorough x- ray of the effectiveness of industrial conflict resolution process in Nigeria, evaluate the impact of industrial conflict on the productivity and success, determine how best industrial conflict could be managed to ensure efficient and effective organization performance, make useful conclusion and recommendation for a viable system which will help an organization, examine whether lack of workers participation in management decision affect conflict management in an organization, examine whether disagreement on union issues affects management in an organization.

The study adopted the survey research design and conveniently enrolled participants in the study. A total of 30 responses were received and validated from the enrolled participants where all respondent are drawn from the staff of mobile producing Nigeria plc.


5.2 Conclusion

Based on the finding of this study, the following conclusions were made:

  1. Lack of adequate strategies in the management of industrial conflict affect an organization to a high extent.
  2. Measures adopted on strike resolution affect conflict management in an organization like Mobile Producing Nigeria to a high extent
  3. Lack of participation of workers in management in organization affect conflict management in organization to a high extent
  4. Insensitive strategic policies e.g salary structures affect conflict management in an organization like Mobile Producing Nigeria to a high extent
  5. Disagreement on union issues affect conflict management in Mobile Producing Nigeria to a high extent
  6. Organizational performance is directly related to the level of industrial conflict.

5.3 Recommendations

In the light of the findings and conclusions, the following recommendations are hereby proposed:

  1. The staff and Management of the organization and the stakeholders as well should endeavour to understand what conflict is all about. This will enable them to perceive conflict in advance and try as much as possible to nip such causes in the bud before it rears its ugly head in the organization. This should be done mostly by training the staff on conflict management and resolution.
  2. Organizations should understand that there are positive and negative consequences of conflicts, however, the negative consequences far outweigh the positive, infact the positive consequences are so infinitesimal and inconsequential and hence has no bearing whatsoever in the organization. Thus addressing the issues of conflict should be of paramount importance to the Management and stakeholders as well as the staff of the organization.
  3. In order to resolve conflict among workers, better strategies should be adopted by the Management and stakeholders. In- house resolution, dialogue among parties should be encouraged at all times, new ideologies in strategies for resolving conflict should be put in place. Also appeasing the party on the receiving end should be encouraged in order to boost morale of staff and Management.
  4. Productivity and optimal performance of organization should be of utmost concern to Management and stakeholders, therefore, relentless efforts should be made to resolve conflict timely in order to boost productivity among staff and Management of the organization. Boosting productivity also includes better working conditions as well conducive working environment
  5. Management should also try to adopt transparent strategies that are effective to the organization. The use of intimidation, coercion of workers, and threat to workers should be avoided. Management should use soft hand, good personal relationship, exhaustive dialogue and all manner of effective strategies which tend to erase the causes and grievances caused by the conflict among workers.
  6. Management should ensure that there is effective communication between the management team and subordinates. This will ensure that all are aware of management policies and actions as well as contributory to decision-making in the organization. This will eliminate alienation and communication gap.
  7. Individual aims and organizational goals should not be congruent. Individuals should ensure that their selfish interests do not conflict with organizational goals. Otherswise, personal interests should be re-align with organizational interests.
  8. There should be effective interpersonal relationships, as well as effective management employee relationships. This should be underscovered by democratic management style. This will ensure that employees‟ problems are well addressed and opportunities are always offered to them to achieve their goals.
  9. There should always be adequate reward system or compensation plan for employees. These include adequate pay packages, prompt promotion and advancement and effective welfare and social security programmes.
  10. There should always be regular training and development programmes which will not only improve the skills and intelligence of employees but should also make them well disposed to their work. This will in assignments competently as tasky assignments are an important source of conflict and stress in the work environment.

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